There is simply no getting around it, and certainly no faking it: we are all local government workers. We turn up at our places of work, go to meetings, make project plans and evaluate them at the end. Some of us are also heavily involved in monitoring, and spend days looking at milestones and outputs.
With that in mind, we thought it might be good to do a little housekeeping and stay up to date with our monitoring paperwork. This blog has been going for some time now, and so we want to share a few things about how we feel we’ve been getting on.
Hopefully, most of you will be aware that along with this blog, we collectively maintain a Twitter account. Originally inspired to do so by the now employed Redundant Public Servant , this glory of the modern era allows us to post slightly shorter thoughts and ideas regularly, and really engage with other people who have an opinion – positive or negative – about local government.
It was our twitter account that inspired this blog post actually, as this week we passed 1000 followers. Compared to such luminaries as Dominic Campbell, Andy Sawford or Ben Page this is chicken feed, with 1000 followers arriving most days along with the junk mail. However, we began this blogging oddesey surprised and delighted when anyone at all followed us, and collectively managed to look abashed when we hit treble figures.
To see that more than a thousand people check in to hear what we have to say is humbling and exciting; for these aren’t any old thousand people, this includes many people who’s opinions we all value and appreciate immeasurably. If you are one of our thousand or so you have helped us out constantly, challenged us with questions and often just made us smile. So our first thanks goes to you.
When we started this blog way back in November 2009 we thought that we’d do well to update more than once or twice a week. Since then we have added 243 posts for our readers to enjoy, covering all manner of issues and topics, from the surreal to the anger provoking. We’ve challenged national policy decisions which affect local government, questioned the situations we get ourselves into and shared a few gems which colleagues have sent us to inspire a laugh.
We’ve hit walls for inspiration occasionally, but between us all we’ve tried to stick to churning out a little something every day which we think people will enjoy. And some of our favourite posts haven’t even come from one of our regular blogging team: we are honoured to have been able to post some fantastic guest posts from time to time. Some have been serious, some have been a little more whimsical, and some have been amongst the most viewed posts we’ve ever had, so our second thanks goes out to anyone and everyone who has put fingertips to keyboards and sent us some thoughts to share.
Inspired by a desire to share a few thoughts with a few people about a walking club, we put up our first post. It was read by about seven people a day, and the only people sharing it were the people who wrote it. Since then we have found ourselves shared like tomato sauce in a cafe; a little here, a little there and occasionally ending up somewhere we never expected to be.
We have written articles for those good people at the Guardian, been quoted by real journalists in real articles, been retweeted to all and sundry and been e-mailed around so much that some of us have had links to our own stories sent back to us (proving that for the moment at least our thin veil of anonymity is holding firm!). We have even been syndicated to other sites, sometimes even with our permission. And to top it all, we lost our dignity a little when we found out that we had been listed in the LGC list of influential organisations.
That we are read by anyone in the first place still puts a smile in our hearts; that some of these enjoy our simple words enough to send them on to a colleague makes us a little giddy, so our third thanks go out to anyone and everyone who has ever tweeted, e-mailed, linked to our posted a status update about us or our posts.
Our final thanks are a little self indulgent, but also a little obvious. We want to thank all of those who share our passion for local government and appreciate the huge amounts of good it does, to all who do the big jobs and strategys, and to all who do the little jobs which no-one notices until they are stopped. So thank you to every single local government officer, whatever your pay grade, council, opinions or demeanor; we hope you all realise that we are not the only people out there who love local government.